Pain in the leg after a herniated disc

One of the complications that appear after a herniated disc is the continuation of pain in the leg, so what are the reasons for the presence of pain in the man after a herniated disc? Is it treatable?

Pain in the leg after a herniated disc

After a herniated disc known as a disc decompression surgery or a laminectomy, many patients with a herniated disc experience pain in the leg. In this article, we'll learn more about this issue.

Pain in the leg after a herniated disc: causes

The feeling of pain in the leg after a herniated disc is a symptom of Post laminectomy syndrome.

Following a herniated disc, there are a variety of potential causes for leg pain, among which we list:

1. Nerve root inflammation

One of the reasons for feeling pain after the operation is inflammation of the nerve root located at the disc on which the operation was performed, but pain often appears in the leg after a period ranging between 2-7 days of performing the operation, to gradually decrease with the passage of time and the required exercises.

2. Misdiagnosis

The herniated disc may not have been correctly diagnosed prior to the operation, or it may have been diagnosed only partially without realising there was another issue in addition to the herniated disc, such as Piriformis syndrome.

3. Secondary disc herniation

The occurrence of a secondary herniated disc after a period of time ranging from several days to several years of performing the operation, but it frequently manifests itself within the first three months of performing the operation, is one of the causes for the sudden onset of pain in the leg after a herniated disc.

4. The spinal fusion procedure failing

If the doctor attempted to fuse the vertebrae as a result of a herniated disc, the failure of the fusion of the vertebrae above and below the herniated disc may be the cause of the postoperative pain.

5. Nerve damage

One of the least frequent causes of leg pain after a herniated disc is nerve damage during the herniation of the disc.

Pain in the leg after a herniated disc: treatment

There are numerous ways to treat leg pain caused by a herniated disc, but it is important to speak with a specialist doctor about the best course of action. Among these ways are the following:

1. Medications

After a herniated disc, medications are the first line of treatment. Here are a few of these medications:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, are used to treat leg pain after a herniated disc.

  • Opioids

Leg pain from a herniated disc may occasionally be treated with opioids like morphine, but it's important to keep an eye on the patient to prevent addiction.

2. Physical therapy

After a herniated disc, physical therapy is one of the medical treatments used to treat leg pain. Physical therapy may involve a special programme that combines a variety of pain-relieving medical techniques. Among these techniques are the following:

  • Special exercises.
  • Electrical stimulation.

3. Surgery

After a herniated disc, surgery should only be used as a last resort because undergoing additional surgery increases the risk of developing additional complications.

4. Other methods

The following are some additional treatments for leg pain brought on by a herniated disc:

  • Radiofrequency denervation.
  • Platelet  rich plasma therapy.

When should I go to the doctor?

In addition to leg pain following a herniated disc, there are other symptoms that may manifest and call for medical attention. Among these symptoms are the following:

  1. Feeling  of numbness  and weakness in the legs, legs or buttocks.
  2. Inability to control the passage of stool or urine.
  3. High body temperature.
  4. Swelling and redness of the operation site.
  5. Pus coming out from the operation site.

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